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ADVERTISEMENT. Controversy in itself is not agreeable, and ought to be avoided when dot necessary; yet the apostle exhorts, that we should earnestly contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints ;' but cer. tainly it ought to be done in meekn'ss and in the spirit of the gos.
And should it appear, that the writer of the following pages bas been prompted by a different temper, it would be to bim a cause of much regret. He is not aware of much influence from any other motive in undertaking this work, than the exposure of error, and the vindication of truth. He is not sensible of unpleasant feelings towards the person of his deceased opponent, por of ill.will towards those who embrace his sentiments. He is sensible, that it cannot be long before he must also leave this world and pass 10 unseen regions; and be dares not appear before God, here nor hereafter with indulged hardness towards any creature. To a number of Univer. salists he justly ow es respect; and from but few, if from any, las he received unkind treatment. Why then should he be dışaffected towards their persons ? On the contrary he greatly desires their present and future happiness, even the salvavior of their souls,
But l'espect for their persons or tender feelings towards them, does not lessen bis dislike of their peculiar religious principles. He soberly thinks, that the doctrine of universal salvation, as it is called, is exceedingly dangerous to souls, and entirely in coiitradiction to the precious word of God, which he thinks his soul loves.
It cannot tben with any good reason be thought strange, that under existing circunstances he should raise a standart against it.
It is unpleasant to be drawn into a discussion of the meaning of original words used in the Scriptures, when we have so good a translation ; especially when we are no better qualified for it. And were we ever so will accomplished for the work, to many readers it would serve but little purpose, more than 10 per plex them, and to darken counsel by words without knowledge. T'he writer thinks, however, tbat by the specimens he has given from the Bible, it may be seen, that aron, and aionios, must mean eternity, and eternal, or many passages where they are found will be rendered unimportant, if not without signiticarion.
It is apprebended that sometimes readers do not take sufficient pains to understand difficult passages they may met with, and so do not get the instruction, which by care and diligence they might. But the writer fondly hupus, that ihe interesting nature of this subject, and the importance attached to those word, referred to, will excite that attention wbicb is needful to gain the intended information.
Hebron, Maine, Sept. 1829.
MR. HUTCHINSON'S APOLOGY.
INTRODUCTION. Mr. Samuel Hutchinson, whose publication I am about noticing, was born in this State of reputable parents, and apparently pious. His father, Mr. Joseph Hutchinson, for several years was an Elder in the Freewill Baptist connection in this town; and his life, as far as has coine to my knowledge, was an honor to his profession; and his ministerial labors, it is believed, were not in vain in the Lord. His son Samuel for some time was a member of the church, of which his father was pastor. His natural abilities were considerable ; but his education and general knowledge do not appear to have been extensive.
I am not prepared to say precisely, what his religious creed has generally been; but so much is evident, that he left this town), about twenty years ago, in the character of a Freewill Baptist preacher. Afterwards, liowever, his inind becawe wavermg, his principles not fixed, and not long since he openly avowed the sentiment of universal salvation. moral character. I believe, has been irreproachable.
The work before me indicates, that he had read some, and thought much; but there appears but liltle accuracy in his method, composition or style.It is thought by some, that his book now under con. sideration will have but little influence; but notwithstanding his arguments are not very accurately stated, not very ably handled, and by no means conclusive; yet his many positive assertions, with a multiplicity of scriptures pressed into his service, are calculated to mislead such as are desirous of em. bracing his doctrine, and to perplex some, who are far from being inclined to his faith. This is one thing, that induces me to make some observations on what he has written.
Some may think, that the work of a man so illiterate,* and so little known in the learned world, is unworthy of attention. But be that as it may, as he has embraced in his perforinance, unless I mistake, most of the arguments and objections advanced by the more accomplished of his denomination, and as it has considerable circulation, a reply seems to be necessary. And being apprehensive, that such as feel some delicacy with respect to their literary respectability, will not be forward to appear in the field of controversy with so unaccomplished an antagonist, affords me another inducement to engage in the work.
In my strictures it is my calculation to pass over much that Mr. Hutchinson has written, and confine myself chiefly to the principal arguments by which he would sustain his cause.
Mr. H. has given to his book the following title: "An Apology for believing in Universal Reconciliation: or an appeal from the Inferior Court of Bigo.
* Mr. H. does not pretend to great literary know ledge.